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Showing posts from January, 2019

How do you make a good photographic portrait?

How do you make a good photographic portrait? The answer is both simple and complex at the same time. The simple essence will probably surprise you.



If I had to write a book about it then I'd cover all the usual topics. Lighting, composition, choosing the right lens, using depth of field and thinking about the background and how you use colour and tone. All have a role to play.

We could also discuss the softer side. How you build rapport with your subject. And how to collaborate.

The truth is none of the above things really matter when it comes down to the essence of what makes a good portrait. Don't get me wrong. They all contribute as stepping stones. They add finesse and enhance. They improve the aesthetics and make it easier to take a good photograph. Other photographers may admire your technique. But good technique does not make a good portrait. Certainly not in the eyes of of the wider public.

So, what does make a good portrait. Simple. The expression on the face, in the…

Art of the decisive moment

Capturing the decisive moment requires patience and timing. Good timing depends on your ability to anticipate the right moment.


Welcome to my relaunched blog. You'll notice a new design to mark the moment. What do you think?

The plan is to write far more regularly. Short posts. Easy to read. Focused on a single subject.

This time it's about that vital element. The anticipation of the decisive moment.

As a scene unfolds you're thinking about what is going to happen next. Where are people moving to? What are they doing? What's happening in the background? Do you have the right point of view or do you need to move?

To be ready for the moment you need a prepared mind and a prepared camera. I almost never use burst mode. It's too inaccurate. While the shutter is clattering away you're not seeing what is about to happen. You run the risk that the exact split second you should have snapped is between frames. I prefer the approach of taking a single shot, relying on t…